(Reuters) — Ivory Coast wants Italy’s Eni to bring its recently discovered offshore field to full production earlier than a planned 2026 timeline to meet local and regional gas demand, its mines and petroleum minister said on Tuesday.
Eni announced the giant oil discovery in September last year, estimating it held 1.5-2.0 billion barrels of oil in place and 1.8-2.4 trillion cubic feet of associated gas.
It is expected to enter first phase production in the second quarter of 2023 with daily output of 12,000 barrels of oil and 17.5 million cubic feet of gas.
Full production is expected in 2026.
“What we are trying to obtain from them is to reduce this deadline as much as possible because local demand is growing annually today at 10%,” Sangafowa Coulibaly said during the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan.
“This should not surprise anyone given the public and private investments we are doing and strong gas demand from home.”
Coulibaly said the discovery would enable the world’s top cocoa producer and regional power exporter to satisfy national and regional demand.
Luc Vignati, Eni’s director of upstream, told the conference that construction of a gas pipeline required for the project to reach full output meant that the existing timeline would be “extremely challenging”.
He confirmed that Eni was still targeting first production in the second quarter of 2023 and full production by 2026.